Memory loss for student drinkers

  • Post category:Newsletter

Drunk teenAlmost eight out of 10 UCD students who took part in a survey on alcohol admitted to suffering memory loss on a night out.

The results, published in UCD’s University Observer newspaper recently, also found almost 50% of students admitted to binge drinking on a “usual” night out.

The number of students experiencing blackouts had increased since 2009 and drug use had also increased.

The survey of 320 students found that a total of 78% said they suffered memory loss as a result of drinking too much on a night out, compared to almost 68% in a similar survey in 2009.

Responding to the results, Alcohol Action Ireland Director Fiona Ryan said: “Eight out of ten students reporting drinking to an extent that they incurred memory loss is not only worrying from a health perspective but is deeply concerning for both male and female students in terms of personal safety.

“It shouldn’t surprise us that young people drink to excess: alcohol is relatively affordable, a woman can reach her low risk weekly drinking limit for less than €7.65, that’s one hour worked on minimum wage, and a man can reach his weekly limit for under €10.

“We know from the World Health Organisation that pricing is one of the key ways of reducing alcohol-related harm. Unfortunately successive Governments appear to be determined not to initiate the one measure that could have a real impact on alcohol-related harm – pricing.

“In December 2009, the Government cut excise duty by 20% and our national consumption rates jumped by 6%  the following year – it’s the first time in almost a decade that our consumption rates have increased. Figures show that in the ten years to 2008, the number of off licenses have increased by a whopping 330%.

“Besides affordability and accessibility contributing to excess consumption, we then have the 360 degree surround experience of alcohol marketing by the alcohol industry through sports and music sponsorship to the increasingly sophisticated efforts in social media such as Facebook.

“Responsibility messages, despite good intentions, would have a difficult task of countering the sheer volume of alcohol marketing which in the UK is reckoned at €800million annually.”